Transcript for Episode 437: Baron Haussmann and the Transformation of Paris

Categories: French History, Paris


[00:00:16] Annie Sargent: This is Join Us in France, episode 437. Quatre cent trente-sept.

[00:00:22] Annie Sargent: I’m Annie Sargent and Join Us in France is the podcast where we talk about France. Everyday life in France, great places to visit in France, French culture, history, gastronomy and news related to travel to France.

Today on the podcast: Haussmann and the Transformation of Paris

[00:00:37] Annie Sargent: Today, I bring you a conversation with Elyse Rivin of Toulouse Guided Walks about Baron Haussmann, the man who transformed Paris.

[00:00:46] Annie Sargent: Understanding Haussmann’s impact on Paris is wonderful for you visitors because it offers insight into the city’s unique character, history and development.

[00:00:57] Annie Sargent: Today, we’ll talk about Paris’ urban design, architectural evolution and you visitors, will gain a richer and more meaningful travel experience. And we’ll keep it real because it wasn’t all butterflies and rainbows.

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Magazine Part of the Podcast

[00:01:51] Annie Sargent: And for the magazine part of the podcast, after the interview, I’ll discuss passports and why you need to look at yours and see when it expires.

[00:02:00] Annie Sargent: I’ll also talk about booking restaurants in Paris. Do you really have to do that?


[00:02:16] Annie Sargent: Bonjour Elyse.

[00:02:17] Elyse Rivin: Bonjour Annie.

Haussmann and the transformation of Paris

[00:02:18] Annie Sargent: We have a great episode today, lots of history, you are going to tell us about Haussmann and the transformation of Paris, because of course the man, I mean literally, he transformed the place.

[00:02:30] Elyse Rivin: He certainly did. I think most people who have visited Paris have walkedthe streets that he created.

[00:02:37] Elyse Rivin: Maybe they know who he was, maybe they don’t, but we have to acknowledge that the Paris that everybody knows today is Haussmann’s Paris.

[00:02:49] Annie Sargent: Right. And we’re going to talk about what it was like before and what the city had to go through in order to get beautified in the way it is today.

[00:02:57] Elyse Rivin: Yes, indeed.

[00:02:58] Annie Sargent: So it’s mostly going to be you talking today, Elyse. I mean, I know a fair bit about this, but I’m going to let you carry the…

[00:03:04] Elyse Rivin: Going to let me carry, okay, then I’ll start off by asking you Annie, as someone who spends time in Paris a lot, if I say to you, Haussmannian Paris, what comes to mind?

[00:03:16] Annie Sargent: Opera. The neighborhood around the Opera House.

[00:03:20] Elyse Rivin: Oh, okay.

[00:03:21] Elyse Rivin: Okay. Specifically the streets or the…?

[00:03:25] Annie Sargent: Yes. You know, that whole… where the opera is and the view and all of these boulevards that intersect there, to me it’s where you see it most. But of course, there are examples of Haussmann’s work all over Paris. Well, almost all over Paris.

[00:03:43] Elyse Rivin: Exactly.

Opera Garnier

[00:03:44] Elyse Rivin: Almost all over Paris. But you’re absolutely right that there are lots of people who think of the Opera Garnier, the old opera obviously, and the many streets that come out from there as being the epitome of Haussmann’s Paris.

[00:03:59] Annie Sargent: Right.

[00:04:00] Elyse Rivin: And it was really designated as such almost when Garnier, who was the architect of the opera, basically his style is his style, which is kind of over the top kind of thing anyway.

Medieval Paris

[00:04:12] Elyse Rivin: But he said that it was in honor of what Haussmann was doing, that he built this Opera House. And so it’s a kind of extension of the inspiration, you might want to say, that Haussmann createdthis new kind of Paris.

[00:04:30] Elyse Rivin: And it really was a new Paris, because up until the 1850s, Paris entirely was medieval, which is hard for us to really grasp these days.

[00:04:41] Elyse Rivin: It was, if you can imagine some of the tiny streets in the Latin Quarter or in the Marais, and that was what Paris was everywhere, absolutely everywhere.

[00:04:53] Annie Sargent: Right. So people who take my Île de la Cité tour, I take you to one of these streets that is so narrow that even the light doesn’t get through really, you know? And there are some streets like that left in Paris, but very few. But you have to imagine that the whole city was like that.

[00:05:10] Annie Sargent: It must have been really difficult to live, I don’t know.

[00:05:13] Elyse Rivin: Well, it was difficult. There are three things that I think are important to know really in relation to the history of Haussmann. And one is that he modernized the city. The other is that he enlarged the city, the city doubled in size, literally doubled in size under Haussmann.

[00:05:33] Elyse Rivin: And that was because, and I’ll back up a little bit and give the information about how this happened and why he became the person to do it. But what they did was, originally Paris was basically, if those of you who have of course, have been there before, know that it’s in arrondissements and it’s like a snail.

[00:05:49] Annie Sargent: It starts with number one, which is Île de la Cité, and it kind of circles around and goes out, and so you have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and then you have the numbers of the larger arrondissements, which are the outer ones. Well, it turns out that until the 1850s, all of those that are basically the outer ring of arrondissements didn’t exist as part of Paris. Right. They were different cities.

[00:06:16] Elyse Rivin: They were separate cities. They were separate villages. And one of the things that happened in the midst of all of this change, these transformations, is that they annexed, literally, they annexed all of these places: Montmartre, La Villette, Passy in the 16th arrondissement.

[00:06:33] Elyse Rivin: All of these places that have still a certain quality of village as opposed to just being anonymously the same everywhere, they are indeed places that were separate villages, which is nice because they have, Bercy the same, they’ve maintained and there’s a little part of each of those areas that has maintained this kind of villagey quality to it.

[00:06:55] Annie Sargent: So this is Paris before the Eiffel Tower.

[00:06:58] Annie Sargent: Before, I mean, the area where the Eiffel Tower is today was mostly fields. I mean, there were things, but not that, it wasn’t dense, you know, it was sparsely occupied and so it was completely different.

[00:07:12] Annie Sargent: That means that anything going towards the west, you know, Montparnasse, all of these, I mean, there were developments right along the river, but as soon as you went away from the river, it was really sparse, there wasn’t that much there.

[00:07:26] Annie Sargent: Exactly. And aside from the outer arrondissements, the area that was added is largely on the western side of the city as it stands today. The oldest part and of course, still the oldest part is the Île de la Cité and the Latin Quarter. They really go back 2000 years. And then of course you have the Sorbonne and all of that.

[00:07:47] Annie Sargent: And interestingly enough, you could ask the question, I asked myself the question, why if he was doing all of this work and destroying so much of the city, why in fact did he not destroy this particular part of it? And part of that has to do with the prestige of the university and its history, which is why the Latin Quarter was really preserved along part of the 6th, which is the St Germaine area.

[00:08:11] Annie Sargent: You have the beginning of Haussmann with the large, beautiful boulevards, but notice, you know, around Saint Sulpice and all of these other parts that are closer to the Latin Quarter, that was preserved as well. And that is because it was very prestigious, because there were certain monasteries there that were very important in the history of Paris.

[00:08:29] Annie Sargent: And oddly enough, on the Marais side, because the Marais, the word actually means marshland, and of course that goes back to the romans when they started digging up and cleaning up the land there. But interestingly, the parts that are preserved there, which are parts that I absolutely love, are because there were so many of these mansions that were there.

[00:08:51] Annie Sargent: And he at least understood, he and of course, the other people, including Napoleon III, understood that those mansions were worth saving.

[00:09:00] Annie Sargent: That’s actually part of the charm of Paris is that it is very uniform because of the work Haussmann has done, but there are also bits that are entirely different. It’s not like totally, you know, soviet era, everything the same. You know, it’s not like that. But there are a lot of things that they did to kind of raise the level.

[00:09:25] Annie Sargent: And like you said, there was also a lot of modernization that came with the Haussmann works, which were absolutely necessary.

[00:09:33] Elyse Rivin: Right.

Haussmann’s ancestors

[00:09:34] Elyse Rivin: So, let’s back up a little bit. His name was George-Eugene Haussmann. His ancestors actually were German. The names could be Alsacian, but in fact I think it was his great-grandparents who were German, who had immigrated to France. And he was born in 1809.

[00:09:51] Elyse Rivin: And his family were bonapartists. His father had been an officer in Napoleon’s army. They were strange in the sense that their politics were not royalist, but bonapartists. Now that’s kind of, there’s a kind of nuance involved in that, that they were very loyal to the Napoleons family is basically what it was.

[00:10:11] Elyse Rivin: And they were neither really for the king, nor particularly for Republic at the same time, but because of their connections, father as his grandfather, who had actually participated in the Revolution, they had good positions. So they were an upper-middle class family. They were not aristocrats or nobles of any kind.

[00:10:29] Elyse Rivin: In fact, he called himself Baron Haussmann, and it’s just because he wanted to have a title. He claimed that a great-grandparent had a title and there were no other descendants, but in fact, it was a phony title that he gave himself. And so he’s been, now everybody calls him Baron Haussmann in history, but eh, he just stuck the title on.

[00:10:50] Elyse Rivin: He just… that was…

[00:10:51] Annie Sargent: There you go.

[00:10:52] Elyse Rivin: There you go.

[00:10:52] Annie Sargent: I’ll have one of those.

[00:10:53] Elyse Rivin: Countess Annie, there you go, you know, hey, why not? I think he considered himself important enough to be called Baron, you know, by the end of his life.

[00:11:01] Elyse Rivin: And why not? Right? Exactly. So, he had a very good education.

[00:11:06] Elyse Rivin: He studied law and probably because of the good contacts that his family had, he very, very quickly started to go up through the administration. Now, the 19th century, of course, is very complicated, even for me, after all my years here, the moments when it wasrestored king, the moments when it was a Napoleon or a Bonaparte, the moments when there was a bit of a republic, it kind of goes back and forth so much that it’s hard to keep track.

[00:11:33] Elyse Rivin: So by the time George Haussmann is a young man, we are entering a time when it goes back to a period of more or less first royalists. And then what happens is that Napoleon’s nephew, Louis Napoleon III winds up first becoming president and then becoming Emperor.

[00:11:56] Annie Sargent: This is a time of… if you look at the timeline of who was in charge, it changes constantly there. But yes, they were always looking for stability and not getting it for more than 20 years or so, you know, it was complicated.

[00:12:11] Elyse Rivin: Yeah. It was unfortunately a real yo-yo century for France.

Haussmann becomes the Sous-Préfet of Paris

[00:12:15] Elyse Rivin: But so what happened is, this is very fascinating, so here we have Haussmann, who is a brilliant young man and who is clearly very ambitious and he becomes an Under-Prefet, which is what we would say in French, but I translated it as Assistant Prefet, because I don’t think that Under-Prefet doesn’t make much sense English.

[00:12:33] Annie Sargent: No. Sous-Préfet.

[00:12:35] Elyse Rivin: Which means basically he’s the, it’s like being the vice president of a region, in a sense it’s like the…

[00:12:41] Elyse Rivin: Of a department. But, and actually, and in fact it was a time at that point, it was a little bit more than sometimes than a just department. It’s funny how they cut it up. But basically what happened was he served a lot in the southwest of France.

[00:12:54] Elyse Rivin: He was first Under-Prefet inthe Latin Guran, which is right next to us in the Arrieges, which is of course, right next to us. And a lot of time he was in the Jerome area and Bordeaux of course was the center of his activity. And he started to develop a reputation for being very efficient. And it sounds like he also had a reputation for being someone with relatively modern ideas, modern in terms of how to run a city.

[00:13:20] Elyse Rivin: And so, before he even came in contact withLouie Napoleon III, he did these things in Bordeaux that got him an international, or at least a fully national reputation. He cut through old neighborhoods, if everybody wants to know why there’s hardly anything medieval in Bordeaux, one of the reasons is thanks to Haussmann, he added lighting, gaslighting it was at the time, to make the streets safe, which was a really new concept. He destroyed and rebuilt an entire water distribution system to make the water healthy and safe to drink. And he, even in Bordeaux and the Jerome area, created a social welfare system for unwed mothers.

[00:14:00] Annie Sargent: Wow. Yeah. a lot of these renovations had to be just physical, you know, just they needed to get sewers and water and basic stuff like that. Now, this is a long time ago, but you know, there are still countries in the world that don’t have such networks very well developed, and it’s a huge problem.

[00:14:17] Annie Sargent: You have to start there, really.

[00:14:19] Elyse Rivin: Yes, you’d have to start there. And it is, I think, hard for us in general to realize how much France was still really medieval at the middle of the 19th century. There were parts of France that were starting to modernize. The train helped a great deal, but it was really a kind of little by little step-by-step process. And so what happened was that in 1853, his work in Bordeaux and the Gironde brought him to the attention of Napoleon III.

[00:14:48] Elyse Rivin: And Napoleon III had spent several years in exile in England. And he was, among other things, he was a fascinating man, actually. He was a very interesting person. He really believed in modernizing the country. And he came back from England with some very ambitious ideas and plans. And one of the first things he wanted to do was change medieval Paris because Paris in the middle of the 19th century, was a place that was smelly, it was dirty, the water was not drinkable, there were outbreaks of cholera everywhere. And remember, we’re talking about the old parts, which is really the central part of what is now Paris. The streets were all very small, very crooked, not to mention the fact that led tosometimes ambushes if there were problems with the government and things like that.

Napoleon’s plans to clean up, to beautify, to enlarge and to modernize

[00:15:43] Elyse Rivin: So, Napoleon announced that part of his program was to really modernize, and he had several goals and he listed them officially. He wanted to clean up, to beautify, to enlarge and to modernize.

[00:16:00] Annie Sargent: Yeah, that’s exactly what happened.

[00:16:02] Elyse Rivin: And that’s exactly what happened. So he met Haussmann, apparently liked him immediately.

[00:16:08] Elyse Rivin: You know what, Annie, I don’t even know if they were the same age or not. I think maybe they were.

[00:16:13] Annie Sargent: I think Haussmann was a little younger, but I’m not certain.

Haussmann becomes Prefet of Paris

[00:16:16] Elyse Rivin: Probably not that, I mean, they sounded like they were similar and you know, let’s say the same generation. And so he immediately made Haussmann the Prefet of Paris.

[00:16:26] Annie Sargent: Which is huge.

[00:16:27] Elyse Rivin: Which is huge. And in 53 he was what? He was 40, in his early forties.

[00:16:32] Elyse Rivin: Okay. Yeah. And he wound up, that is Haussmann, he wound up being the Prefet of Paris for 17 years, which is a record.

[00:16:43] Annie Sargent: Right. Prefets don’t stay that long usually.

[00:16:45] Annie Sargent: No,they hardly ever stay more than just a few years. So he was given this task by Napoleon III, and he was basically given carte blanche.

[00:16:55] Elyse Rivin: He was really told, this is what I want you to do, I don’t know if Napoleon had any specific visual ideas of what he wanted, other than the fact that he really wanted to make the city more sanitized and to really make it more modern. And Haussmann went ahead and over the next number of years what he did was, he began very simply by raising to the ground most of the very oldest part of Paris that is around parts of Île de la Cité, which is where Notre Dame is, parts of the other side, not the Latin Quarter side, but the other side on the Seine River. And he worked his way out.

[00:17:35] Elyse Rivin: And he hired obviously, the best engineers that he could, and he created a plan,a visual plan.

[00:17:42] Elyse Rivin: And in the process of that, he developed a style that he insisted on having used for the buildings. To be very honest, I don’t know if this is something that just came out of his imagination or whether he really worked with some architects, but everybody who’s walked across some of these magnificent wide straight boulevards has seen, whether they know it or not, a building that is a Haussmannian building.

[00:18:11] Annie Sargent: Right. And you know, today it would be city planners that would do this. Like it’s a whole, you can get a degree in city planning, but he didn’t have that, he wasn’t even an architect, like you said, he was a lawyer, but he had lots of ideas and he had the personality to be extremely pushy.

[00:18:33] Annie Sargent: Yes. Get it done.

Napoleon wants a small park in every arrondissement

[00:18:34] Elyse Rivin: To get it done. Now, there were two or three ideas that did indeed come from Napoleon, which of course he used, and one of Napoleon’s was that he wanted to have a small park in every arrondissement. Now he managed to put in at least a couple of mini parks or squares in each of the neighborhoods.

[00:18:54] Elyse Rivin: But there were two big parks in Paris. One of these is the Park Montsouris, which is in the south in the end of the 14th arrondissement. And the other is the Park des Buttes Chaumont which is on the northern side in the 20th that were both created from scratch by Haussmann.

[00:19:10] Annie Sargent: Yep. Put one here. There you go.

[00:19:12] Elyse Rivin: There you go. There you go. Now the Park Montsouris, which is in the 8th, what he did was, originally it was a private park that belonged to one of the royals. Forgive me, but I don’t remember which one it was. And he simply confiscated it and made it into a public park. There you go, too. You know. So what happened was, in the process, he managed to add green spaces, he took the Bois de Vincennes and the Bois de Boulogne and he turned them into really nice parks. They were just simply countryside with lots of forests at that time. But he added all of the things that make them very civilized and in fact what he did with the Bois de Boulogne, that became the inspiration for the Central Park in New York.

[00:19:57] Annie Sargent: Yeah. So I mean, if you put paths and roads and things like that, then it’s going to be easier to access than just leaving it be wild.

Rue de Rivoli, first boulevard to be finished

[00:20:07] Annie Sargent: Exactly. Now, guess which street or boulevard was the very first that he finished?

[00:20:14] Annie Sargent: Rue de Rivoli.

[00:20:15] Elyse Rivin: Oh, she knows this already.

[00:20:17] Annie Sargent: Yes, I do. I know few things. Yeah.

[00:20:21] Elyse Rivin: So this is in 1855. So two years later the Rue de Rivoli was completed and it was the prototype for absolutely every other avenue and boulevard, and believe me, they all look like avenues of boulevards. I don’t know why some of them are called avenues and some of them are called boulevards, to be very honest, because they’re all the same exact width, they were all specifically designed to be exactly the same in that sense. The only difference between Rue de Rivoli and others is that it’s the only one with arcades.

[00:20:54] Annie Sargent: And by arcades you mean that there are places where you can walk underneath?

[00:21:00] Annie Sargent: I mean, like there’s a space,a covered space, a space between the street and the stores.

[00:21:04] Annie Sargent: Right, exactly. And actually if you, the Rue de Rivoli begins really at the end of the Marais. It begins at, basically at City Hall and it goes as far as Place de la Concorde. It’s a Stokely, straight east, west street. But it’s the part that’s starting at the Palais Royale, and that goes to Place de la Concorde that actually has these covered arcades for the shops because it was considered to be the most exclusive part. And it is of course, the part that’s right across the street from the Louvre.

[00:21:34] Annie Sargent: Right. So Palais Royale is really interesting that way because it’s, you do still have all these arcades and shops and some of them are very old and some of them have been replaced by newer shops and some of them look like they’re not, they’re in between right now, you know, there’s nothing there for now, but obviously, this is great to illustrate that , it’ll be back.

[00:21:54] Elyse Rivin: Oh, absolutely. You know, give me a 10 square meters as owner and I think I’d be happy for the rest of my life. You know, if I could rent it out.

[00:22:01] Elyse Rivin: You know, in that part.

[00:22:02] Elyse Rivin: Yeah. So what else?

[00:22:04] Elyse Rivin: Well, he cleared out the area where the Ile de la Cité meets Chatelet, which of course is the largest underground metro stop with how many lines, I don’t know. But up above it was known as being one of the most grungy, medieval parts of really ancient Paris. And he totally cleared it out. He made big open space and had the two theaters built.

[00:22:31] Elyse Rivin: That is the Theatre of the City and the Theatre de Chatelet. He opened up the huge esplanade in front of the City Hall, which is a really gorgeous Renaissance building. I have the cat who’s on my shoulder, who’s agreeing with me about all of this information and whispering in my ear that she’s sniffing at me while I talk about all of this.

[00:22:50] Elyse Rivin: Maybe she’s hoping to smell old Paris or something, I don’t know.

[00:22:53] Annie Sargent: I’ll put a photo of Elyse with the cat on her.

[00:22:57] Annie Sargent: This cat, she loves you Elyse.

[00:22:58] Elyse Rivin: She loves me. I know. She just loves me.

[00:23:00] Elyse Rivin: Here we go. All together, Haussmann destroyed over 60% of Paris,of the Paris that existed before the annexation of the outer cities. So if you can imagine that Paris was half the size of what it is today and he destroyed, just raised to the ground 60% of, that is a huge amount. It is estimated that he destroyed 80,000 buildings.

[00:23:30] Annie Sargent: Right. So this is the sort of thing that they could only do because this was a dictatorship. Okay. I mean, you can’t, I mean, okay, we’re French people, we don’t like to talk our ourselves in terms of we were a dictatorship, but you know, like that’s what you have to have or you can’t pull off this sort of thing.

[00:23:47] Annie Sargent: And so nowadays it would not fly.

[00:23:51] Elyse Rivin: It would not fly, no. So in the process, they annexed 12 villages.

[00:23:57] Elyse Rivin: So the city of Paris went from being 12 arrondissements to being the 20 arrondissements that we have today. And it’s very interesting to know that there were two reasons, there were two reasons, one political and one financial for annexing all of these villages all the way around. And the political reason was because he wanted to have a bigger power base.

[00:24:20] Elyse Rivin: And he also wanted to make sure that by expanding out with all of these very straight, wide streets and boulevards, that invasions would not be so easy to do, or ambushes would not be so easy to do. Of course, 1870 proved that was not necessarily true.

[00:24:38] Elyse Rivin: And the other reason, which was much more important at the time was that by annexing all of these villages, they started to pay city tax as being part of Paris. They didn’t have a choice. They were just annexed and they needed that money to finance all of this work, because these were Haussmann’s tasks. He had to create, or he did create, whether it was really in conjunction with ideas that Napoleon III had or not, it’s really hard to know.

[00:25:07] Elyse Rivin: But Haussmann’s streets are all extremely wide and perfectly straight, and they have a perspective, they have a sense of space, and they connect to one another, usually with spokes.

[00:25:21] Elyse Rivin: So for instance, you have, of course the, where you have the Arc de Triomphe which has 12 spokes going out, you have the Place de la République on the eastern side.

[00:25:31] Elyse Rivin: I don’t know, I don’t think it has 12, but it has at least six or eight spokes going out from it.

[00:25:36] Annie Sargent: Right and that one is rectangular. It’s not a circle.

[00:25:38] Elyse Rivin: It’s not a circle, right. But what he wanted was to create this sense of space and the idea was that having things open, allowed for air to circulate, which it certainly does, allowed for more sunlight to come in and made a sense of modernity.

[00:25:54] Elyse Rivin: And there was this whole notion of modernity.

Haussmann’s rational aesthetic

[00:25:55] Elyse Rivin: The other thing about Haussmann is that he developed what he called, and this was officially what he called it, the rational aesthetic. It was a rational aesthetic. In other words, it was basically a form of very advanced city planning for the middle of the 19th century.

[00:26:12] Elyse Rivin: The idea being that you create a homogenous style of architecture and that you insist, and he insisted. This was because in fact, he had to get private investments. This was not just city or government money, they had to get enormous amounts of private banks and investors to work with them to do all of this.

[00:26:31] Elyse Rivin: But this is, he said, you’re not going to do a facing with fake stone. This is going to be buildings made out of real stone, limestone, which is of course what you have in Paris. And the rooftops are going to be slate and it’s going to be four floors high, with the fifth floor, that is basically what today we call the servants’ rooms or the students’ rooms, which are basically under this kind of, you know, curved or arched rooftop.

[00:26:55] Elyse Rivin: And the inside is going to be modern. We’re talking about what it was like 175 years ago, what modern was 175 years ago compared to what it had been for 400 or 500 years, which, you know, you can imagine the difference. So there’s light, there’s more windows, there’s a nice staircase, there’s some sanitation, but obviously not this kind of sanitation we would have today.

[00:27:19] Elyse Rivin: And he insisted, absolutely insisted that all of the buildings he built look the same.

[00:27:25] Annie Sargent: Right, he wanted something uniform that looks like, you know, so they are similar but not the same.

[00:27:33] Annie Sargent: So you can see small differences if you really pay attention, like you can have balconies, but not on every level. The balconies can only be a certain width. There’s a certain space between the floors, you know, he just set a standard and it works.

[00:27:51] Elyse Rivin: And it worked. Now, what’s interesting is that he had originally the idea that in creating these kinds of buildings, which were specifically designed by the way, to be apartment buildings so that people could buy an apartment, thinking, the original idea was that people would buy an apartment and live in it. What did happen though, and this has to do with what later developed into a kind of scandal around him and his work, was that many people who had money wound up speculating by buying these apartments and then renting them out.

[00:28:29] Elyse Rivin: Now, originally Haussmann’s project, and written down on paper was that a lot of these buildings, at least half of the apartments would be for people with what we would today call modest incomes. Well, when you look at these apartments and you look at these buildings, it’s hard to imagine that this is really what he thought of.

[00:28:49] Elyse Rivin: And the top floor, which really still to this day, is used a lot of times by students, university students. They’ve turned a lot of these tiny little rooms up on top into what are called student studios. I’ve actually visited a couple here in Toulouse because we have a few beautiful Haussmannian streets actually here in Toulouse as well, and you would not believe how small they are.

[00:29:11] Elyse Rivin: But this was, the idea was that this was supposed to be for a single person who was relatively poor. But in fact what happened was because of all of the financial speculation, it was rich families that wound up moving into all of these houses at first, and it was the servants that wound up sleeping upstairs in these rooms that were theoretically, originally designed for lower income people.

The Human Cost of the Haussmann Transformation of Paris

[00:29:37] Elyse Rivin: Little by little what happened was that there started to be some grumbling. Now we’re talking about a project that was massive and that took a total of almost 20 years to finish.

[00:29:48] Elyse Rivin: Some of these numbers are unbelievable. By modern standards in terms of cost, the destroying and rebuilding and the building of these roads would cost anywhere between 25 and 30 billion euros today. Today, yes. Today. Okay. Not dollars even, but Euros. Yeah. It was a huge cost. And what happened was they borrowed an enormous amount of money from private banks and that meant that they had to start selling more and more of this real estate to rich people to recuperate the money, which was not completely recuperated anyway, whatever, you know.

[00:30:28] Elyse Rivin: There were over 80,000 workers who worked on all of this, between the road buildingand the houses.

[00:30:34] Annie Sargent: And sometimes these were the same people who had just been evicted.

[00:30:38] Elyse Rivin: Yes, would get hired too work. Yes. Well, that’s the other thing that, you know, it’s one thing to say, and this was of course true for a certain amount of time in London, that you have to get rid of a part of the city because it’s disgustingly filthy, because there’s no sanitation, because of this and that.

[00:30:53] Elyse Rivin: But of course, you’re evicting thousands and thousands of very poor people who in the end had no housing, they had to go farther away.

[00:31:03] Annie Sargent: Right. So they just pushed them out of the city and you know, I’m sure people were not happy about it, but they weren’t in the position to organize or to protest this in any way.

[00:31:13] Annie Sargent: It was going to happen. It was going to happen.

[00:31:14] Elyse Rivin: Exactly. So it apparently he built over, listen to this, he built over 40,000 houses.

[00:31:22] Elyse Rivin: 40,000.

[00:31:24] Annie Sargent: Yeah, I’m not surprised.

[00:31:25] Elyse Rivin: Huge. Absolutely huge. Okay. So there were several people, several very well-known intellectuals, writers, politicians who indeed were scandalized.

[00:31:34] Elyse Rivin: Now,partly they were scandalized because they missed what could be romantically called, The Old Medieval Paris. But also because of the fact that it was kicking out all of these very poor people who basically were left with not knowing where to go. One of them was, someone we’ve talked about in relation to some other things, and that was a politician named Jules Ferry who was the one of the people responsible for creating the bill that made education freefor children in France.

What Emile Zola and Jules Ferry thought of these changes

[00:32:03] Elyse Rivin: But another was the writer Emil Zola, who criticized the idea of eliminating, what he called, the old beautiful Paris. Now Jules Ferry said and I’m quoting “we weep with our eyes full of tears for the old Paris”. I’m not sure, I love, as you do I know,parts of the old Paris, but I’m not sure I would weep with tears to get rid of things that stank and were so unsanitary.

[00:32:29] Elyse Rivin: It’s kind of hard.

[00:32:30] Annie Sargent: It’s a hard call on this one. Yeah, people in general don’t like change. And French people are probably more into not liking change.

[00:32:40] Annie Sargent: But yeah, it, I guess now that it’s done, we’re happy it’s done. But it must have been extremely painful. An entire generation of people who suffered because of all this.

[00:32:51] Elyse Rivin: Exactly. And Baudelaire of all people, he wrote a poem called The Swan. And the swan is Paris. It’s a poem in which…

[00:33:02] Annie Sargent: Is it Le Cygne in French?

[00:33:03] Annie Sargent: Yeah. I’m going to have read it, I don’t remember it.

[00:33:06] Annie Sargent: There’s quote, a little bit of one of the lines where he says “it’s a lament for the old medieval city he loved” Why not? Interesting. I’m going to have see if I can find it read it.

[00:33:17] Elyse Rivin: But here is a list of some of the things he did.

Some of Haussmann’s projects

[00:33:20] Elyse Rivin: Haussmann had the Gare de Lyon and the Gare de l’Est built. Now, if you haven’t seen the Gare de l’Est, the Gare de Lyonis big just like the Gare de Nord, but the Gare de l’Est is superb. It’s absolutely magnificent as a building. He had the theaters built on the Place de Chatelet. He opened up the Esplanade in front of City Hall and he created the Esplanade in front of Notre Dame which up until that time had old, funky, very rundown medieval houses right up to the doors that enter into the church.

[00:33:55] Elyse Rivin: He built a whole bunch of bridges. He had the Pont St Michel rebuilt completely. And interestingly enough, and this is I guess, a sign of his ego as well,the wonderful fountain where the Boulevard St Michel begins right as you get off the bridge of St Michel.

[00:34:12] Elyse Rivin: It was very old and funky and he decided that he wanted to do it, if you notice it’s the Archangel Michael. He decided that’s what he wanted, and it was his idea to put that statue there, which came from somewhere else, and to create that fountain. And he considered that to be his spot, that was Haussmann’s spot.

[00:34:32] Annie Sargent: Oh, really? I didn’t know this.

[00:34:34] Elyse Rivin: It’s funny, it’s like of all the places. Now of course, boulevard St. Germain which goes East-West at the beginning was very medieval. A little teeny, little bit of it is. But then of course, if you continue going west, you get to the part that’s totally Haussmannian.

[00:34:47] Elyse Rivin: And the Trocadero was opened up. He redid the Champs Elysee.

[00:34:52] Annie Sargent: Okay, but Trocadero had very different buildings there.

[00:34:57] Annie Sargent:

[00:34:57] Annie Sargent: Yeah, but well now, eventually, but they’ve much up, you know, quite a bit after Haussmann they built the Palais de Chaillot and all that.

[00:35:05] Elyse Rivin: Right, but it was another 50 years. It was another 50 years. And of course the Eiffel Tower talking about resisting change, you know, I mean, his project, which really affected thousands and thousands of people, of course, was really something that was talked about an enormous amount.

[00:35:20] Elyse Rivin: But you’re right, the whole resistance to change. I mean, look at the scandal that happened with how ugly the Eiffel Tower was and all of that. I mean, it is hard to create something that is very different structurally and visually than what was there before in spite of, you know, the idea that it is sanitizing the city and making it more livable.

Did he design wide streets so the military could get around?

[00:35:38] Elyse Rivin: I mean, that certainly is part of it. By the way, you know, a lot of people, including me, thinks I had read before, think about these open, big, straight avenues as having had a military function. Now, according to him, he was actually asked about this, he was criticized by some people saying, you know, this is a way for the government to be able to control better, to control the population because you can get the armies down the streets.

[00:36:05] Elyse Rivin: His response to that was ” never dawned on me, but why not?” Basically, that was his response. It was not the specific reason, he really had this idea of this very rational kinds of architecture that was very open and spacious, but he was not against the idea that might be something that could be abused in any event. You know what I mean?

[00:36:26] Annie Sargent:

[00:36:26] Annie Sargent: Yeah. It’s kind of a happy,secondary consequence.

Considering the huge costs

[00:36:31] Elyse Rivin: Exactly. Yeah. So all of this took 17, almost 18 years. And by the time we get up to basically 1869, going into 1870, there is a lot of conflict. There’s a lot of criticism largely because of how much this is costing. The city has gone into debt, really huge debt to do all of this work. There are people, of course, who are more involved in the social aspect, who are worried about what’s going to happen to all these poor people who no longer have a place to live.

[00:37:04] Annie Sargent: Do you know if they got, like compensated or not?

[00:37:09] Annie Sargent: I do not know. I do not know, but from what I read, it doesn’t sound like it.I’m going to have to look into this because it’s possible they were compensated but beneath what they should have been.

[00:37:19] Elyse Rivin: To be honest, I don’t know. For instance, if you imagine, what I was reading yesterday, they said that in the oldest part around the Ile de la Cité, and right around the Chatelet there were sometimes 15 people living in one room. I mean that’s how it was so densely populated that there was no way of stopping disease from spreading.

[00:37:41] Elyse Rivin: And they had so many outbreaks of cholera and so many, they must have had tuberculosis, they must have had so much of it and all of the diseases that spread that way. Now, my guess is that not many of those people were owners of where they were living, you know?

[00:37:56] Annie Sargent: Yeah, probably. Who were the owners, I have no idea.

[00:37:59] Annie Sargent: When you go to to Ile de la Cité, he did save, of course, Sainte Chapelle, and he did save the Conciergerie specifically because of the importance that they had for historical purposes. When you go to the back, you have a more modern, not modern 20th century, but 19th century architecture behind them. The part that’s across from there where you have the flower garden,it’s also been, it was changed under Haussmann.

[00:38:22] Annie Sargent: What’s really interesting is that he understood about appearances in the sense that he specifically made that huge esplanade in front of Notre Dame. If you go down the side of Notre Dame, not the side that’s on the riverside, but the other side, there are two or three medieval streets that still exist.

[00:38:39] Annie Sargent: One of them, I think is called the Street of the… Rue du Cloître, because that’s where there was a cloister belonging to a convent there. It’s interesting that they kept the streets, but they modernized the buildings that were on them. And it’s kind of interesting to see where he said, Stop and where he didn’t, you know, who knows, you know, really.

[00:39:00] Annie Sargent: But what happened was by the end of his reign as Prefet, people couldn’t stand him anymore. They decided that he was, he was making the government go bankrupt and that the costs were so exorbitant and he basically couldn’t stop. It was almost like he just couldn’t stop.

[00:39:17] Annie Sargent: He couldn’t stop spending money, he couldn’t stop with his projects. So finally what happened was the Parliament under Napoleon III, who had been president and then declared himself Emperor at the very last of his reign, he decided that he wanted to make the country a little bit more of a republic.

Haussmann is fired

[00:39:35] Annie Sargent: And so what happened was that he loosened up certain rules. And in the parliament there were more and more people who were pretty much on, let’s say, moderate left side and they were the ones who hated Haussmann for what he had basically done to the city. And so they put enough pressure on Napoleon III so that he told Haussmann that he wanted him to resign. That’s crazy because he’s the one who enabled it, the whole thing. Yeah. But then it’s Haussmann that has to resign.

[00:40:06] Elyse Rivin: But he didn’t. So this is what happened. Haussmann in his own, and his, you know, he refused. And so Napoleon III fired him. Oh, wow. He fired him.

[00:40:18] Elyse Rivin: And Haussmann said, because he spent, he was already, well, let’s see, he was already, I think in his 60s, he went on to be a senator.

[00:40:26] Elyse Rivin: He actually went on to be in politics, he became a deputy from Corsica. Why Corsica? I have absolutely no idea. He was because he was a bonaparteist, maybe.

[00:40:35] Elyse Rivin: So he wound up becoming a member of Parliament, and in his last years before he died in 1891, he wrote his memoir and he wrote, it took him a number of years. He wrote down all of the things that he did and everything. And he said in his memoir, he said, I committed two wrongs, I was prefet for too long and people get tired of seeing the same face all the time.

[00:41:00] Annie Sargent: No, it wasn’t about his face. No.

[00:41:01] Elyse Rivin: And I disturbed people’s habits by turning Paris upside down.

[00:41:06] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:41:08] Elyse Rivin: Yes. And of course what he left out was that I pretty much bankrupted the government because he really was a spender. He was not, you know, he didn’t really worry about how much he was spending. So he died in 1891 and he is buried in Père Lachaise.

[00:41:24] Elyse Rivin: So you can go by and you can say hello. I don’t know if the word Baron is on his tombstone, I should have looked it up to see. It’s kind of interesting because it really was true that he called himself Baron Haussmann, and people asked him at the end of his life how he could give himself the title, because he gave it to himself. And he said, well, my great-grandfather was, whatever it was, a Baron or something, you know, lower aristocracy.

[00:41:51] Elyse Rivin: And he said, since there were no other male descendants and I’m the closest to him, I decided that I was entitled to the title.

[00:42:00] Annie Sargent: He might have made that make that up too, who knows?

[00:42:02] Elyse Rivin: Well, you know, I mean, well, let’s say this, I guess sometimes in history, to get something major done like this, you have to have an ego that goes with it.

Haussmann’s influence outside of Paris

[00:42:14] Elyse Rivin: You know, his work was so influential that other cities in France, of course, rebuilt parts of their architecture in the same style, and that includes of good part of Bordeaux, a little part of Toulouse, a big part of Marseille and…

[00:42:30] Annie Sargent: Lyon not so much right?

[00:42:31] Elyse Rivin: Lyon not so much, but again, there must be, there I’m sure other cities that I don’t know that well, that have a section that’s very Haussmannian as well.

[00:42:40] Elyse Rivin: But believe it or not, there were some other major capitals in Europe and even elsewhere that were so inspired by his style of architecture that they added or changed a huge section of their city. And those include, believe it or not, Brussels, Vienna, Madrid, Stockholm and Buenos Aires and Cairo and Istanbul.

[00:43:03] Annie Sargent: Interesting

[00:43:04] Elyse Rivin: All have parts of their city that are actually Haussmannian, right?


[00:43:10] Annie Sargent: It’s really interesting because if Paris hadn’t gone through this terrible time, it wouldn’t be what we know today and I don’t think anybody would be paying any attention to Paris today.

[00:43:21] Annie Sargent: Like, if it had remained a medieval city, it wouldn’t be the attraction that it is, it just cannot be. Because it’s, I mean, you see the cities in France that didn’t go through a lot of these renovations, like Rodez it has a lot of charm. It’s, but it’s mostly remained medieval, you know, and it has its charm, but you don’t see buses of people visiting Rodez, right? It’s just not like,

Renovations would have happened no matter what

[00:43:48] Elyse Rivin: well, I think because those cities, or imagining even Paris having stayed medieval, what would’ve happened is that by the beginning of the 20th century, a good chunk of that would’ve been destroyed and built in any which way, basically.

[00:44:03] Elyse Rivin: And it would’ve been relatively ugly modern style architecture and it wouldn’t have had, I think one of the graces of what he did is the homogenous quality to it. There’s a grace, honestly. I mean, I love the medieval Paris. I really do. But there is a kind of gracefulness and elegance to these boulevards with these beautiful buildings, with the beautiful slate roofs, and it gives a sense of real class to the city of Paris

[00:44:34] Annie Sargent: Yeah. And you know, as a whole, France is a country that has valued infrastructure. Now, this probably started with Haussmann but it continues to this day.

[00:44:46] Annie Sargent: We still, you know, we are one of the countries that has very nice freeways, well-maintained freeways. They’re not cheap, but they’re very well maintained. We have very nice trains. So many lines that many of them fell into disuse because, you know, we have rail lines going to a lot of tiny places where it doesn’t make sense to have a train.

[00:45:10] Annie Sargent: But now they’re talking about possibly rehabilitating these lines and using them for much smaller trains, you know, like some sort of small electric service that’s almost automatic, like it just goes back and forth between this small town and this small town.

[00:45:27] Annie Sargent: So infrastructure has always been really important in France, and I think it really started with Haussmann. Whether or not all of these cities look Haussmannian, you know, his spirit lives on in a way.

[00:45:42] Annie Sargent: Yes. I agree. And I think that it is true that, if he hadn’t done all of that, Paris would not be pretty today, because even if it kept some of the old medieval parts, I think there’s a vision when people think of Paris besides the beautiful, the character.

[00:45:58] Annie Sargent: I mean, let’s face it, the Latin Quarter and the Marais, they’re romantic in a certain kind of way because of the character of that kind of the narrow little streets, and of course it’s very well kept up and it’s very carefully taken care of, you know, these days. But there is a certain elegance to Paris.

[00:46:15] Elyse Rivin: I mean, this is what makes it so beautiful to see. And there are cities when you go to them, they have just a little bit of hodgepodge of architecture here and there, it just doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work. So it really is thanks to Haussmann, maybe thanks to Napoleon III as well, you know, that we really do have such, such a beautiful city.

[00:46:35] Annie Sargent: And the people of Paris who lived through this are to be admired because they put up with a lot of disruptions.

[00:46:43] Annie Sargent: They did indeed. And just say, you know, another one of these little anecdotes about what people hated. He lopped off a section of the Luxembourg Garden, by the way, to build the Boulevard Raspail which is a a wonderful boulevard that goes all the way from Luxembourg Garden all the way to the other end of Montparnasse. And because of that, they had to move the fountain, the Medici fountain and the gardens.

[00:47:06] Annie Sargent: Well, you know, I’m sure at the time it was very upsetting, but the gardens are still gorgeous. Still big, still works, you know, the palace is still there. So yeah, that’s what happens when things change.

[00:47:19] Annie Sargent: So Haussmann, a complicated man who did some all in all, some beautiful work, but I’m glad he wasn’t my neighbor.

[00:47:28] Elyse Rivin: Oh, he wouldn’t have evicted you Annie.

[00:47:31] Annie Sargent: Sure, sure. Oh boy. Merci Elyse.

[00:47:35] Annie Sargent: You’re welcome, Annie.

[00:47:36] Annie Sargent:

Thank you patrons

[00:47:43] Annie Sargent: Again, I want to thank my patrons for supporting the show and giving back. You can join them at and you’ll get access to many exclusive rewards.

[00:48:02] Annie Sargent: A warm welcome this week to new patrons: Happy Travels, Susan Nelson and Neil Shore.

[00:48:10] Annie Sargent: Your dedication to keeping this podcast going is very, very much appreciated. If I did not have a dependable income from my patrons, I wouldn’t be able to do this podcast, it’s as simple as that.

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[00:48:39] Annie Sargent: Upon becoming a patron, I recommend you download the Patreon app for easy access to your rewards on the go. You can enjoy perks like French pronunciation assistance, personal video updates as I explore France, and delicious French recipes beyond the ones you can already try from my cookbook, Join Us at the Table.

Video about cooking mushrooms

[00:49:02] Annie Sargent: Today I’ll make a video about cooking mushrooms. Mushrooms can be delicious or they can be bland and boring. I’ll show you how I make mine tasty.

Driving in France video

[00:49:14] Annie Sargent: And I have a driving in France video in the queue, I’m waiting for the rain to stop. It shouldn’t be long, we haven’t had that much rain.

Your next journey to France – Personal Itinerary Consultant

[00:49:22] Annie Sargent: And if you’re gearing up for a journey to France and listening to as many episodes as possible to prepare, keep doing it, that’s a great way to prepare your trip. You can also take advantage of my expertise as your personal itinerary consultant. To get started, simply follow these steps.

[00:49:40] Annie Sargent: Number one, purchase the service at

[00:49:45] Annie Sargent: Number two, complete a questionnaire to share your travel ideas and preferences.

[00:49:50] Annie Sargent: Number three, schedule a phone appointment during which we’ll discuss your plans for about an hour.

[00:49:56] Annie Sargent: And number four, after our conversation, I’ll send you a comprehensive document outlining the itinerary that we discussed.

[00:50:05] Annie Sargent: Now, please note that my schedule is booked up several weeks in advance, it’s two months in advance right now. To find my next available date, visit the only place where you can buy this service, the Join Us in France Boutique.

VoiceMap app tours

[00:50:18] Annie Sargent: And if my schedule is fully booked and you are unable to consult with me directly, fear not, you can still take me along your Parisian adventure with my GPS self-guided tours available on the VoiceMap app. I’ve created seven immersive tours, each showcasing a distinct iconic neighborhood of Paris. Choose from the Eiffel Tower, which is available in English or French, Île de la Cité, Le Marais, Montmartre, Saint Germain des Prés or the Latin Quarter. And you can take those tours at any time, even far from Paris, but I’ll tell you what, these tours are best taken in Paris where you can see the sites and smell the croissants.

[00:50:58] Annie Sargent: Access these tours via the VoiceMap app for immediate access, or receive a special listener discount by buying codes at

US Passports

[00:51:09] Annie Sargent: Okay, let’s talk about passports now. You have to renew your passport early, very, very early.

[00:51:17] Annie Sargent: Kim Cox, who is coming to the bootcamp, wrote this: “Our US passport renewals just came in. We applied in January, and she wrote this just a week ago, okay, so this was early April. We applied in January, they are so very backed up and we were getting super nervous. We had to call our Congressman to get them shaken loose. Annie, you might want to tell your US podcast listeners that they need to apply super early and get their congressional representatives involved when they are delayed and have upcoming travel. We got ours three days after our call, Hmm, miracle! Now I can really get excited about meeting all of you”.

[00:52:05] Annie Sargent: I look forward to meeting you also, Kim.

[00:52:07] Annie Sargent: And do take a look at your passport and if it’s within a year of expiration, start the renewal process because those things take time.

Travel Question of the Week – Do you need to reserve Restaurants in Paris?

[00:52:18] Annie Sargent: Now, travel question of the week.

[00:52:20] Annie Sargent: Should you book restaurants in Paris? There are nonstop questions about this on the Facebook group. What’s your favorite restaurant? What are your must try? Should I lay awake at two in the morning worrying that I won’t get a reservation to that one place everyone wants to go to?

[00:52:38] Annie Sargent: Okay, here’s the problem.

[00:52:40] Annie Sargent: Restaurants do not want to take reservations too early because they know things happen and plans change. And honestly, they don’t care who sits at the table, they just want a paying customer in the seat. They all have their method to ensure the restaurant is going to be full. Well, full enough, but not too full, right?

[00:53:02] Annie Sargent: You got to get it just right. Some restaurants open reservations three months early, some three weeks early, some three days early and some never. There is no rhyme or reason to this. Some are listed on apps like The Fork or Zen Chef and you can reserve quite easily that way, I love it when they do that.

[00:53:24] Annie Sargent: But not all of them do. Some of them you need to call. It just depends. Having said that, there are a lot of restaurants in Paris. I asked ChatGPT, how many restaurants are there in Paris and it said between 40000 and 45000 restaurants in Paris. Then I asked it to cite its source and it said I quote, “as an AI language model, I am unable to provide direct citations or realtime data”.

[00:53:57] Annie Sargent: Is that how you are not citing your source because you’re making things up, are you? ChatGPT makes a lot of things up. So I went to the Yellow pages. The Yellow Pages lists almost 16,000 restaurants in Paris. You get the gist, there are a lot of restaurants in Paris. And if you’ve ever been to Paris, you know this right?

[00:54:22] Annie Sargent: The only time you should worry, lay awake at night, do whatever it is you do when you worry, is for a special event. Okay? Somebody’s birthday, somebody’s anniversary, a celebration that you want to have, no matter why. If you only eat certain things, it’s good to find out where those things are going to be and perhaps book for those things.

[00:54:45] Annie Sargent: But for most of us, and for most meals, and by most I mean 90% I say don’t sweat it, you will eat well in Paris. There is no need to run all over the creation to try a restaurant just because someone said that it was great. I read the reviews visitors write. It’s stuff like: This was the best Beef bourguignon I’ve ever had.

[00:55:14] Annie Sargent: And of course it was the first Beef bourguignon I’ve ever had, but I am a food critic now. On the Facebook group, someone wrote, I’m worried that I have made a mistake and fallen right into a tourist trap. Let me ask you, what’s a tourist trap anyway? A restaurant that looks good because you are starving and you need to get off your feet?

[00:55:38] Annie Sargent: And what’s wrong with that? So long as they serve a decent steak frites who cares? So, slow down, slow down and look for the menu that’s posted before you sit down. It’ll have everything you need to know, the sort of food they serve, the prices, you can see if there’s room to sit down or not, right? You’re right there.

[00:56:02] Annie Sargent: Perhaps, use the bathroom before you order and you’ll get a glimpse into the kitchen. You know, kitchens are very small and very messy in Paris. Don’t be too OCD, but I mean, we all have our limits. Okay. I think I’ve walked out of one restaurant, one restaurant my whole life getting old, but, so it’s not like, you know, it’s a big worry most of the time.

[00:56:28] Annie Sargent: If you absolutely must avoid busy restaurants right in the middle of the action because you’ll hate it there, all you have to do is walk a block in any direction to see if restaurants on the calmer streets seem better to you. It’s not a guarantee either, but at least you’ll know that they won’t be as busy and may give you better service. Again, no matter where you go, look for the menu they’ve posted and read it.

[00:56:57] Annie Sargent: I know it’s in French, but it’s not Chinese characters. You can read the words and many of them will make sense even if you don’t speak a lick of French. Still not sure? learn about Google Lens. Look it up, it’s magic. It can translate anything for you. And go with what seems better to you.

[00:57:20] Annie Sargent: Of course, trust your senses, you will not starve in Paris no matter where you are. And no need to reserve unless it’s a special occasion.

[00:57:29] Annie Sargent: Now I write tours. I have to try restaurants in that area because people expect a recommendation from the tour guide. And I also like to try restaurants, I like food, okay? I do it because it’s part of my job, but you have the freedom to go wherever your nose and eyes tell you to go. Celebrate that and whatever you do, don’t worry about it too much.

Share the podcast trailer

[00:57:57] Annie Sargent: You can help your friends plan their trips to France by sharing the podcast trailer with them. Where is that? Go to Copy that link. Share it wherever, Facebook, wherever you would like to, in your email, I don’t know. Somebody you know is going to France. That person needs a little common sense before getting to France. So send them to the trailer, would you?

[00:58:27] Annie Sargent: And I would love to play more voice feedback on the show, if you have a question or comment, record a voice memo on your phone and email it to me Annie@JoinUsinFrance.Com and I will play it on the show.

[00:58:42] Annie Sargent: Show notes and a full transcript for this episode are on

[00:58:50] Annie Sargent: A big thank you to podcast editor Cristian Cotovan who produces the transcript so you can find in which episode we talked about that place that you’re interested in.

Next week on the podcast

[00:59:02] Annie Sargent: Next week on the podcast, a trip report with Adrienne Aniodun and Natalie Michelle, who were looking for Josephine Baker in France. And what a great time they had doing it!

[00:59:15] Annie Sargent: Thank you so much for listening and I hope you join me next time so we can look around France together. Au revoir.


[00:59:22] Annie Sargent: The Join Us in France Travel Podcast is written, hosted, and produced by Annie Sargent and Copyright 2023 by Addicted to France. It is released under a Creative Commons, attribution, non-commercial, no derivatives license.

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Categories: French History, Paris